SoutheastHEALTH to take over Dexter hospital operation

Sunday, August 5, 2012
The sign welcomes visitors to Missouri Southern Healthcare in Dexter. (submitted photo)

SoutheastHEALTH and the Dexter Community Regional Healthcare Foundation have reached a lease agreement for the future operation of the hospital in Dexter, Mo.

SoutheastHEALTH has entered into a long-term lease with the foundation, effective in 2019, at the termination of the current lease with SunLink Health Systems in Atlanta. SunLink has leased the 46-bed Dexter hospital, called Missouri Southern Healthcare, since around 2000.

"When our current lease expires, Southeast will basically become our tenant at the end of the current tenant's lease," said Darla Grossman, foundation president.

This photo shows part of Missouri Southern Healthcare in Dexter, which SoutheastHEALTH will take over operation of in 2019. (submitted photo)

SoutheastHEALTH also has plans for a new family medical clinic in Dexter, to be on property adjacent to the hospital owned by the foundation, which is not included under its current lease agreement. The clinic will offer services provided by SoutheastHEALTH specialists, including cardiology, neurology and endocrinology.

"As health care moves forward, we think there are great advantages in partnering with other providers in the marketplace, rather than going about it lone wolf," said Jim Limbaugh, executive vice president of planning and business development at SoutheastHEALTH, which operates Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau. "We look for providers that have a common strategy."

Grossman said it's important not to consider the agreement a partnership.

"Just like right now, the Regional Healthcare Foundation has nothing to say about the day-to-day operations, the hiring, the firing or anything like that of our tenant. We're just the landlord," she said.

The decision to choose Southeast was based on its desire to be a health care provider for the region, rather than just Cape Girardeau, Grossman said. Southeast has maintained a satellite cardiac rehabilitation clinic operating three days a week in Dexter since 1998. Specialists from Cardiovascular Consultants, which is affiliated with Southeast Medical Group, also offer a weekly cardiovascular clinic in Dexter.

Construction on Southeast's new Dexter clinic will begin before the end of the year.

"We think it is very important we help to facilitate access to health care in those markets that don't have the capacity to provide specialty care. There are folks that don't have the resource or ability to travel," Limbaugh said.

The eventual use of telemedicine by Southeast for consultations with specialists is also planned, he said.

Its lease of the Dexter hospital is the latest in a series of regional partnerships over the past two years, including taking over the operations of the Ripley County Memorial Hospital in 2010, and joining with Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston, Mo., to form a new company, Servir, to build and manage a common networking and data storage center for both organizations.

Limbaugh said experiences in Ripley County will help them with operations in Dexter.

"We've done a lot of things right, but we've stubbed our toe on a few occasions, and we've learned from that," he said.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent address:

1200 N. One Mile Road, Dexter, MO

1701 Lacey St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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